The Mexican-American Metallers BRUJERIA have been at a near complete silence over quite a few years. It was over the summer when I noticed on The Gramercy Theatre’s schedule that they would be playing there on October 3 in support of their new album Pocho Aztlan (out now, Nuclear Blast Records) and I thought I was dreaming. First of all, BRUJERIA hasn’t released a full-length album since 2000’s Brujerizmo and well, they always maintained that they hate performing live. Aside from BRUJERIA being the main headlining act, I noticed another name on the bill which was CATTLE DECAPITATION, after that I knew I was set to be there.
It was a Monday evening, and I was one of the first arrivals as I made it in time to see the Bronx act BILLY CLUB SANDWICH. I was taken back by their name and the Charlie Brown shirt the singer was wearing. As their set progressed, they seemed to rile up the crowd from the get-go as I noticed those who arrived early managed to have a bit of extra room in the pit to do anything that they want. The set moved along with tunes such as “Suckerpunch,” “Veterans Day,” and “Justice Unknown.”
Next up was the Tex-Mex Punk Rock act PIÑATA PROTEST. When I saw the accordion that frontman Àlvaro Del Norte was holding, I knew that this was going to be an interesting set. I mean, first of all, there’s a beer named after them, so it promised to be highly entertaining. I smiled and laughed during their entire set as I noticed fans in the pit looked like they were square dancing instead of moshing. Norte mainly spoke in Spanish. However, I did understand when they went into the tune “La Coo-Ca-Ra-Cha” and yes I was quite surprised. Norte ended up speaking in English and shared a secret with the group as he mentioned how he was born in Mexico and that everyone thought he was Chinese. The next tune was dedicated to that fact, “Chino Chino Japones.” Now I was definitely awake and entertained.
Moving along was CATTLE DECAPITATION as they were there continuing to support 2015’s The Anthropocene Extinction via Metal Blade Records. I haven’t seen these “Vegan” Metallers since I went to Heavy Montreal in 2015, so I was pumped to see them. CATTLE DECAPITATION is one of my favorite acts out of the Extreme Metal category, as their music depicts animal rights, horrifying slaughterhouses, how shitty we treat the environment, and so forth. I must add, with the lineup changes that have occurred over the years, I’m not sure who is a vegetarian, vegan or full blown carnivore anymore but they continue to rage out such harsh realities.
The energy was unstoppable, as they looked invincible on the stage during tunes such as “Manufactured Extinct,” “The Prophets of Loss,” “Your Disposal,” and “Clandestine Ways.” They mentioned that it had been a while since they were in New York as they went into “Circo Inhumanitas.” The venue was beyond packed at this point, where you could barely move. However, the pit was insanity that night. The set continued with songs “Not Suitable for Life,” “Forced Gender Reassignment,” Pacific Grim” and they closed out their set with “Kingdom of Tyrants.”
After a short break, it was time for BRUJERIA to take the stage. I heard fans screaming from the get-go as we were most likely surprised and honored to see their return. They stood on that platform as they gave everyone a spellbinding stare where I knew it was going to be complete mayhem from that point out. The Mexican flag and themed bandanas continued to cover their faces as they hide their identities. The flag was raised as fans in the crowd cheered as they asked how the “locos” were. Everything was mainly in the Spanish language as the tunes and lyrics that consist of their traditional themes such as Satanism, sex, drugs, politics and so forth blurred out.
The pit was insane where I don’t think anyone stopped moshing or moving around. There was a female headbanger that kept returning to the stage as she eventually held out a sign. The place was even more packed at this point where I wondered if they oversold the tickets or maybe a few snuck in because you could barely maneuver around. The set included songs, “Colas De Rata,” “La Migra,” “Misas Negras,” “Hechando Chingasos,” “El Desmandre,” “Seis Seis Seis,” “Angel De La Frontera,” “Marcha De Odio,” “Amas De Venta,” “Sida De La Mente,” “Satongo,” “Castigo Del Brujo,” “No Acceptan,” “Anti Castro,” “Revolucion,” “Division Del Norte,” “Consejos Narcos,” “La Ley Del Plomo” and “Matando Gueros.” All I can say is, what a night!
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: ZENAE ZUKOWSKI